Talk about buffet, how can you tell if a buffet restaurant is good? Do you judge by the price? The variety of items? Its location? The quality of service?
Personally, I have a list of criteria to rate a buffet dining.
£ Cold station (salads, cold cuts, seafood) must serve fresh items.
You can tell if the sashimi or salami doesn't look or smell right. Gotta be careful with fresh seafood particularly, because bad one can make you end up visiting the loo too many times afterwards.
£ Fruits station offering at least one unusual fruit
What I consider an average selection: apple, papaya, melon/cantaloupe, banana, grape, orange, pineapples. I have been to a few places that display less common fruits such as passion fruits, mangosteens, blueberries, strawberries, dragon fruits, pomelos, guavas, etc. These fruits are either easily perishable or too expensive to be included in a buffet spread.
£ Regularly replenished food platter before they're completely empty.
£ Numerous manned stations (eggs, porridge, noodles, pancakes, etc).
SATOO (pronounced as /sɑːtuː/) of Shangri-la Jakarta is said to be one of the best hotel buffets in town, and from my personal experience, I can only agree to that and I believe that many would share my opinion too. This place is always packed on weekends, particularly for dinner. I can understand why, with the endless supply of very fresh raw seafood (crabs, mussels and the likes) this place is just like a Hogwarts dining hall for seafood lovers. Even my parents couldn't resist second and third helpings for the fresh crabs!
When I had breakfast there many weekends ago, the buffet spread didn't disappoint at all. SATOO is famous for its Indian food station, but I was particularly impressed by the unusual collection of breakfast cereals imported from Australia (no, you won't find Koko Krunch or Nestle's sugar-packed cereals), Indonesian Aromatic Organic honey, made-to-order Jamu (Indonesian traditional healthy beverage made from herbs and spices), pork station, etc. These food items are quite rare (not to say expensive) to be included in a hotel buffet spread.
|Indonesian Traditional Jamu|
|Healthy goodness to start the weekend|
|My western food platter|
|From the Japanese station: Inari, Sushi, and nato! (Japanese gooey fermented bean)|
|The special Christmas station offering various Christmas-themed sweets|
I'm biased for SATOO, because just about any random things I pick always taste good, or at the very least, is not distasteful. Now that SATOO becomes my benchmark in rating a buffet restaurant, I guess my expectations have just gone up to unrealistic level...
Breakfast: IDR 198,000++/pax
Lunch: IDR 250,000++/pax (weekdays) | Weekend Brunch IDR 310,000++/pax
Dinner: IDR 270,000++/pax (weekdays) | Weekend IDR 290,000++/pax
Breakfast 6am - 10am (Weekdays) 6am - 10.30am (Weekends and Public Holidays)
Lunch 12noon - 2.30pm (Weekdays) 12noon - 3.00pm (Weekends and Public Holidays)
Dinner 6pm - 10.30pm (Sunday to Thursday) 6pm - 11pm (Friday and Saturday)
Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta | Level 1
JL. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 1
Ph: +6221 29399580
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